Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I managed to grab this one as this plane was taxiing past us, and tripped the shutter in the split-second when the tail was blocking the sun. I feel moody when I look at it; there's something about backlit subjects that just makes me wonder.

Yes, I know I can drop it into Photoshop and crank up the light levels. I can also apply filters and special effects to make it look like, well, a regular old airplane. But that wouldn't do a very good job of telling the story of what I was seeing and feeling the moment I took the picture.

Your turn: This all begs the fundamental question of photographic editing: if a picture needs to have major surgery to be saved from the scrap heap, does it remain faithful to what the photographer originally wanted to say through the lens?

One last note: I'm not saying editing is bad. Or good. Or anything. I'm simply opening up the issue for discussion. So...please discuss!


emiel emanuel said...

Editing is good. Its part of the artistic process. If you're a writer you know full well that what you first scribble down never ends up the final copy. Certainly there is an intention, or an essence you're trying to get to, but remember...the camera is a technological device. Just as much as photoshop is. There is not "nature" between the image and your intent. Just plastic parts.

Thumper said...

Some editing is good...but in the age of digital photography, we're losing some of the images that eventually become classic. If it's not perfect we just delete it or photoshop it...we're editing our history. Most of it should be seen the way it was, not the way we wanted it to look.

Kevin said...

An artist should be allowed to edit all he wants... unless he's George Lucas.

Very cool pic, BTW.

Plain Jane said...

I'm all for the artist's discretion.

hobbes said...

i'm an edit-addict myself.

E said...

I think "to edit" or "not to edit" is purely based on what the photographer is trying to accomplish. I, personally, choose to share what I snap with minimal editing - maybe some cropping, maybe a little lighting help, but I want it to stay as true as possible to what I'm experiencing. If an artist wants to edit for artistic creativity, then more power to him! I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do it.

Thanks for visiting me earlier. Don't be fooled, though...I'm not always uplifting! :) I come visit you often, although I don't comment much. I always enjoy my visits.

an orange said...

If a picture was bound to end up in the scrap heap anyway, then editing can't do very much harm.

A picture that stands out in its original form, though, whether for its quality or simply for emotional reasons, might deserve to be left alone.